Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, the largest community health center serving Washington and Yamhill counties, understands the importance of advocacy at the local, state, and federal level.
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) as an Advocacy Center of Excellence, Silver Level
Virginia Garcia is committed to empowering our staff to take on leadership roles in their community, which is why they started the RISE Program – Reach. Inspire. Support. Engage. This training program is open to any Virginia Garcia staff and focuses on topics including local politics, public speaking and interrupting racism.
As of February 24 a new policy will impact the health and well-being of all immigrants. The policy is known as Public Charge. Below are a few critical details to know (Information via The State of Oregon) and here is a helpful handout you can share with friends and family, via Protecting Immigrant Families.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages all those with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis. Additional information can be found at the USCIS website.
A Public Charge is an individual who is likely to become “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.
When an individual applies for Lawful Permanent Residency status (aka a “Green Card”), the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) evaluates whether he or she has used – or is likely to use – certain public benefits that could make them a public charge. If so, this is a “heavily weighted negative factor” against the applicant’s request. As of October of 2019 the list of programs that USCIS must consider when determining if an immigrant is a public charge will significantly expand.
Under the current rule, immigration officials look at all a person’s circumstances to determine if the person is likely to depend on the government for cash assistance or long-term care in the future.
As of February 24, 2020, immigration officials will also look at use of one or more of the following benefits:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Immigration officials consider the person’s age, health, family and financial status, education, and skills. If the immigration official determines that the person is likely to become a public charge in the future, the official can refuse to grant the person’s application to enter the United States or get a green card.
Public charge is considered only for people applying to:
- Enter the United States
- Extend their Visa (ie: they are already in the United States)
- Adjust their status to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (ie: a green card holder)
- A green card holder that leaves the United States for more than 180 consecutive days and re-enters
- U.S. citizens — both those born in the United States and those who have naturalized
- Immigrants with lawful permanent residency (i.e., green cards) including those applying for U.S. citizenship
Immigrants who are in the United States for humanitarian reasons. For example, immigrants with the following statuses are exempt from public charge:
- Asylee (including those in the process of applying)
- Temporary protected status
- Violence Against Women Act self-petitioners, with some exceptions
- T or U visa holders, in general
- Special immigrant juveniles
- Certain parolees, and several other categories of non-citizens
- Active military service members and their families.
It is important that everyone have a firm understanding of their rights. Below are articles and links to information and resources that will help you stay up-to-date on current events and activities.
Check their website for more information and to sign up.
(National Association of Community Health Centers) Check their website for ways to help you get involved.
Check out the Oregon State Legislature website to find out who represents you.
One Oregon is a statewide coalition that defends against anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and ballot measures and works to ensure that all Oregonians, regardless of country of birth, are treated with dignity and respect.
519 SW Park Ave., Ste. 610
Portland, OR 97205
605 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., Portland, OR 97214
Programs offered: Asylum, Unaccompanied Minor, Cancellation
Languages: English & Español
3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 288
Beaverton, OR 97005
Programs Offered: Immigration Counseling and Advocacy Program; Multicultural Counseling Services
435 NE Evans, Suite A
McMinnville, OR 97128
Programs Offered: A Family Place Relief Nursery, Collaborative Home Services, Counseling Programs, Family Support and Connections, Healthy Families of Yamhill County, Healthy Relationships, Immigration Counseling and Advocacy, In-Home Safety and Reunification Services, Parent Education Classes, Safe Families for Child
The Latino Network provides information for members of the community.
The National Immigration Law Center provides important information on immigration rights and is dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.
The ILRC (Immigrant Legal Resource Center) offers free "red cards" (know your rights cards), that can be ordered from the email provided on their website. Here is the direct link to ordering the cards.
The ILRC offers a sample "preparedness plan" worksheet. It discusses a plan for minor children, and the right to request a hearing before an immigration judge if detained.
The ACLU website also provides comprehensive "know your rights" material. Pages 1, 7,8, and 9, are the most relevant.
This article summarizes the 129 years of constitutional protections for undocumented immigrants.
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (VGMHC) is a private, nonprofit organization recognized as exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. VGMHC’s mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate primary health care to the communities of Washington and Yamhill counties with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farm workers and others with barriers to receiving health care.
VGMHC may take positions on or advocate with regard to public policy issues pertinent to its mission, consistent with the requirements of applicable Federal and Oregon law. However, VGMHC conducts all of its activities in an entirely nonpartisan manner. VGMHC may acknowledge the elected officials who support us, but we do not endorse, support, or oppose candidates for public office, nor do we intervene in any election on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate or political party.